Friday, September 23, 2016

Don't Know Much About These Kellys

The family plot in the Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery co-owned by two Kelly families presents me with some names which I know and already have researchedthose of my husband's ancestor, John Kelly. The others belong to a family which might be related to ours, or may not. The task now is to determine the connection. That assignment, however, may take on the aspect of a very exhaustive search.

Though John Kelly and his family have been familiar names to me for years, the family of Timothy Kelly has presented research problems. Seeking out each member's date of death, though, is not so complicated; here they all are, assembled for anyone to view, in the same family plot. So that will be our starting point for today's review.

The Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery was established at its current location in 1873. The first burial in the Kelly family plot was actually of a one year old infant named William Kelly, who died July 29, 1874. Whether he was the child of John and Johanna Kelly or the plot's co-owner, Timothy Kelly, I can't tell at this point, but his was likely the family's impetus for securing a family burial location.

The few details I can determine regarding the co-owner of the Kelly family plot, Timothy Kelly, are provided on the Allen County Public Library's genealogical databases. As we've already seen, Timothy Kelly was born in Ireland around 1828. (I say "around," because as you've already read, there have been several dates offered for his year of birth.) The cemetery burial records give his passing as September 22, 1901.

Timothy Kelly's wife was Ellen Hannan Kelly, who happened to be the first of his family whom I can confirm was buried in the newly-established Catholic Cemetery. According to cemetery records, her date of death was September 27, 1875. She died young. Her obituary alluded to that fact in mentioning the many who mourned herthough not happening to actually, you know, mention the names of any of those in her family who would have been the most grieved at her passing. The cemetery record made note of her age as thirty seven years, three months.

She was not alone for long, laid to rest in that lonely spot outside the city limits of their adopted home in America. The eldest son of the other Kelly family joined her at the start of the new year in 1876.

As for the children of Timothy and Ellen, not all were buried in this family plot. Of those who were, the eldest was Andrew, a divorced man who died December 2, 1940, at the age of seventy three years.

The next youngest child of Timothy and Ellen was a son named after his father. The younger Timothy was one of the three Timothys I mentioned the other day. He died in 1909, much like the namesake son of the plot's co-owner, John: young, single, living and dying in the same home in which he was born.

With these burials related to Timothy Kelly plus those already mentioned for co-owner John Kelly, that totals nine family members. There were others in the family of Timothy and Ellen Kelly, but since they were married, they were buried in their own family plots.

Still, to help in scouring the details for any clues allowing us to determine just how this plot's co-owners might have been related (if at all), it would be useful to review the two married children of Timothy and Ellen, and then puzzle over what might have become of two additional daughters who seemed to have dropped from view about the time they reached their twenties.

Above: "On the Quays," 1888 charcoal on canvas by Irish landscape artist, Frank O'Meara; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.

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